|Home | About | Journals | Submit | Contact Us | Français|
The establishment of culture conditions that selectively support hematopoietic stem cells is an important goal of hematology. In this study, we investigated the possibility of using for this purpose a defined medium, mSFO2, which was developed for stromal cell–dependent bone marrow cultures. We found that a combination of epidermal growth factor (EGF), the OP9 stromal cell line, which lacks macrophage colony-stimulating factor, recombinant stem cell factor, and the chemically defined medium mSFO2 provides a microenvironment where c-Kit+ Thy-1+/lo Mac-1+/lo B220− TER119− commonβ+ IL-2Rγ+ gp130+ cells are selectively propagated from normal, unfractionated bone marrow cells. This cell population produced an in vitro colony at a very high efficiency (50%), whereas it has only limited proliferative ability in the irradiated recipient. Thus, the cells selected in this culture condition might represent colony-forming units in culture (CFU-c) with short-term reconstituting ability. Transferring this cell population into medium containing differentiation signals resulted in the rapid production of mature myelomonocytic and B cell lineages in vitro and in vivo. The fact that a similar culture condition was created by erb-B2–transduced OP9 in the absence of EGF indicated that EGF exerts its effect by acting on OP9 rather than directly on CFU-c. These results suggested that the balance between self-renewal and differentiation of CFU-c can be regulated by extracellular signals.